Transport vulnerable in supply chain risk
The 6th Annual Logistics and Transport workshop organised by the Namibian-German Institute for Logistics (NGIL) in conjunction with the National Road Safety Council took place late last month in Windhoek.
The importance of the event was underlined by the presence of high-ranking dignitaries that opened the four-day event. The institute for logistics teamed up with the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) developing this year’s conference on the theme of supply chain risk.
Namibian specialists like Professor Chris Savage and Ambrosius Tierspoor covered a wide range of topics that improved the delegates’ knowledge and understanding of the southern African logistics and transportation sector.
Apart from the input of the experts, case studies and best practices were discussed with a view to improve the management of logistics and transportation by managing supply chain risk from a Southern African perspective.
Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, Hon Kilus Nguvauva applauded the efforts of the logistics institute and the work already done to develop this fundamental sector of the economy. He said, “A viable road infrastructure as well as an extensive well-operated and safe railway can and will allow Namibia to further develop as a regional hub in logistics. The economic development of Namibia and the region will be essential to our growth and prosperity, allowing our nation to flourish.”
Also present at the event, the Rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia, Professor Tjama Tjivikua said “Research carried out by both the Institute for Logistics and the World Bank shows there is significant lack in expertise when it comes to logistics in this part of the world.”
“Closing the skill-gap in this field is essential and these types of workshops certainly provide a method of closing the gap,” he added.
“Logistics and management in general, like most things in life is about minimizing risk. That is why it has been chosen as the thread throughout this workshop. We assess risk in every aspect of our lives and we should do so with logistics and transportation as well. It is disconcerting to see how little attention some organisations pay to it. If we in Namibia are to fulfil our wish of becoming a regional logistical hub which brings with it money and prosperity and growth we need to pay more than lip-service to the risk mitigation of logistics” Tjivikua said.
Emerging economies like Namibia are particularly susceptible to risk. In recent years, financial uncertainty and other external factors have created a turbulent environment in which, supply chains have to operate.
Annegret Al-Janabi the Counsellor for Development Cooperation at the German Embassy said that the workshops and others like it in regional centres around Africa will stimulate the industry and help it to improve performance through better service, professional management, target and client-oriented development, and further education of professionals in the industry and relevant authorities.
The workshop was a great success with more than 80 delegates attending, presenting and participating in frank and educational discussions and workshops. According to Neville Mbai, Director of the Namibian German Institute for Logistics “this logistics and transport workshop provided a forum for discussing progress and future developments based on international and regional experiences. This four-day workshop gave the sector a platform and is at the forefront of development of transportation and logistics.”